It was never my intention to share this so publicly. At least not yet. But at the same time I had a pull to do so and after some confirmation here I am.
Shachah. Pronounced shaw-khaw. The Hebrew word meaning to bow down [in worship]. As I was praying one day, I asked God to tell me what he would do, what he would be like. He responded, “A worshipper”. He’s going to be a worshipper.
Joel and I spent Valentine’s Day weekend sharing a special card with our families. Of course I made the cards. Each one read on the front, “Roses are red Violets are blue” and the inside said “on September 6th our little miracle is due! Happy Valentine’s Day”. It was a great weekend finally telling those closest to us that we were expecting. I was almost 11 weeks along and soon we would tell all of our friends.
During that weekend, I started experiencing a possible complication. On Monday, the problem continued so I called the doctor, and they ordered blood work. We had one more family member to tell that day. Part of me wanted to cancel our lunch plans in case I got bad news from the doctor. But at the same time, if I was going to believe in faith that everything was going to be okay, I couldn’t cancel lunch. So I didn’t, and all of our family knew.
We went to bed Monday night, and I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I woke Joel up and told him we needed to go the ER. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, things were getting worse. The things the doctor warned me about were happening. We got to the ER around 2am. After more blood work and two ultrasounds, I heard the worst words of my life. The ER doctor came in and said, “I’m sorry miss, there’s no heartbeat”. We were devastated. By this point I was in so much physical pain, and he told me that it would continue for a while. They sent us home and just before 6am we were back in bed trying to get some rest after a physically and emotionally draining morning. Less than a half hour later, I got up to go the bathroom to discover I had miscarried. My sobs got Joel out of bed as he came to help. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that he was going to have to go to the store to buy some thicker pads because I literally couldn’t leave the bathroom. No longer than he left, I began to feel nauseous and extremely light headed. I called him and told him to come back because I was going to pass out and that I think he needed to call an ambulance. The next thing I remember was waking up haunched over with my head between my legs and my phone on the floor. I heard Joel come in and he was on the phone so I knew he had called 911. The paramedics came in and asked how much blood I lost, but we really had no idea. However, their concerned expressions told me it was probably a lot. They took me back to the hospital where I spent a few hours in the ER before being taken to a regular room for observation. As if this process wasn’t emotionally painful enough, the physical pain was just as hard. I had had almost no sleep in more than 20 hours. Doctors and nurses kept poking at me. I had three separate blood draws and two IVs in less than 24 hours. I just wanted it all to be over. I wanted to be left alone to grieve. Just before 10pm that night the doctor finally came back up to see me and told me I didn’t have to spend the night. I was discharged and got home around 11pm. Joel and I took the rest of the week off from work.
During that time, Joel and I really held onto each other and to God. We prayed. A lot. I bought the book Mending Tomorrow. I had been wanting to read this story about Chris Quilala from Jesus Culture and his wife Alyssa and the loss of their son a couple of years ago, and now seemed like such a fitting time. I can’t even put into words how much this book helped me heal. Of course I was feeling completely heartbroken. I was mad at the situation. I didn’t understand. But I didn’t necessarily have anger towards God. In Mending Tomorrow, Alyssa Quilala went through her experience. The two things that stuck out to me the most were that “Rejoicing and thankfulness are not emotional responses; they are acts of the will that turn your focus toward God and His goodness in your life.” I was having a hard time with this. I knew God was good, but I couldn’t see that in this situation. I couldn’t bring myself to speak those words. That was until I continued reading. Chris wrote chapter 8, and in it he talked about how he’s always sang God is unchanging and now he was faced with the question of will he believe it? Will I believe it? I’ve sang those songs and said the same thing. God never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Will I believe it? I decided in that moment that I would. Regardless of my heartache and my sadness, regardless of my world being turned upside-down, I was going to choose to believe that God was still good and that someway, somehow this would work for my good and bring Him glory. That decision brought me so much freedom. A huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. A weight I didn’t realize I was carrying until it was gone. Now I could lift my hands and say with my whole heart, God, You are good.
During the next three weeks, I continued to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. One day might be good but the next I would be an emotional mess. My heart hurt in a way I had never felt before. I felt empty. I felt like part of me was missing. It’s incredible how someone I have never met can have such a big impact on my life.
As Joel and I returned to work, we continuously referred to Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” Every time I would feel something other than peace, I would remind myself of this verse. There really is nothing more valuable than His peace. Throughout the process I chose to seek God. I wanted to go through this process well. I knew that pushing others away, pushing God away wouldn’t help me. That would only delay my healing process. But I also became intentional about who I talked to, who I sought for guidance. I realized that not everyone would speak the same life over my situation that I needed to hear.
Early on in the grieving process I decided that I wanted to buy something to have in memory. I wanted something physical. Something I could hold. Regardless of the fact that my baby only lived 11 weeks, he is still my child and I am still his mom. Nothing will ever change that. This was something I struggled with at first. A close friend told me that I am a mom. And even though by definition, I am a mom, I didn’t feel like one. I knew as time went on the pain would lessen, but I was afraid to let it go because that was all I had. Until I decided on a necklace. I searched Etsy endlessly for the right one. After many searches, I chose a skinny bar necklace that I could get the word shachah stamped on it. Something I could have forever.
At the beginning of the year, God told me He was going to show us His faithfulness. This certainly isn’t how I thought I would see it. And to many looking in from outside, He is doing just the opposite. But I know that He is good, and we will see His faithfulness this year. God was right when He said my child would be a worshipper. That’s exactly what he is doing now. Worshipping God. In heaven. All he will ever know is perfect peace. Wholeness and health. Joy and hope.
I didn’t write this to get attention or for pity. I wrote this with the intent to encourage. If this gives hope to just one person, it’s worth it. Joel and I are still healing. We have come a long way since February 16, but there are still moments when it’s hard, when it’s sad. So with that being said, please be mindful of comments on the blog, social media, texts, and conversations with us. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may find encouragement in this.